Originally published December 2 2014
CNN host Fareed Zakaria may be a serial plagiarist
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Plagiarism for a reporter, broadcaster, researcher or academic is literally a career-killer, but for some mainstream media outlets, it doesn't seem to matter much, provided that the accused is well-connected to the politically powerful.
According to various reports, CNN host Fareed Zakaria is quite possibly not just a plagiarist but a serial one at that; as The Daily Beast (DB) notes, he is currently fending off new charges that he has plagiarized lots of his written work -- so much so that some publications are even attaching warnings to his work.
As further reported by Newsmax, which cited The DB's report:
Zakaria, (a sometimes foreign affairs adviser to President Barack Obama) has come under fire from two contributors to a blog called "Our Bad Media." The pair, who say they blog as a hobby, have spent three months poring over Zakaria's writings, and say they have found numerous instances of plagiarism.
Some problems with his lack of attribution
In recent weeks, several major media outlets to which Zakaria has contributed have leveled criticism at him and posted warnings with his archived work. In fact, Washington Post editorial page Editor Fred Hiatt -- who has vociferously defended Zakaria against charges of plagiarism in the past -- has even said his paper would probably add warnings to five Zakaria columns that were published before August 2012, calling his errors "unfair to readers and to the original sources."
The columns in question "strike me as problematic in their absence of full attribution," Hiatt told the Poynter Institute.
The two "Our Bad Media" bloggers, The DB reported, have told other media outlets they are not professional journalists and do not profess to be, nor are they looking for employment in the world of journalism. Rather, the pair -- who go by Twitter handles @BlippoBlappo and @Crushingbort, say they have taken aim at Zakaria and other journalists because "nobody else was doing it."
In comments emailed to Newsweek, @Crushingbort elaborated, "It's hard to convey the sense of disbelief in finding that several of the biggest and most respected news outlets in the country either lied about having reviewed Zakaria's work or did it very, very poorly."
The duo have even dissected Zakaria's CNN teleprompter scripts for any evidence of plagiarism.
The DB further explained:
Zakaria is a juicy target but has managed to stay employed, @Crushingbort added, because "[h]e's one of the more prominent faces of conventional wisdom in politics and it's clear from opening up the opinion section of The New York Times or The Washington Post that that kind of role comes with job security most people could only dream of."
In an email to The DB, Hiatt elaborated on his actions:
In the first batch of columns that were posted, I did not think the allegations concerning the [Post] columns had merit. The anonymous posters put up six new allegations yesterday, and we looked at those and felt, on preliminary look, that five of them were problematic. We're looking more carefully now, and where my preliminary view holds up, we will post messages, I hope within the next day or two.
But some were attacking the messengers, not Zakaria's message. The author of The DB story, Lloyd Grove, wrote of @BlippoBlappo and @Crushingbort -- after lavishing fawning praise on Zakaria and detailing his Ivy League academics:
[I]t must drive him to demented distraction, and prompt a primal scream at the planet's cruel absurdities, that he has been taken down a peg or two by a pair of pathetically uncredentialed, no-account bloggers who go by the ridiculous Twitter handles @Blippoblappo and @Crushingbort.
Zakaria himself has attempted to downplay his behavior, telling friends privately that "he's the victim of vicious pedantry, and that his lapses are trivial and, at worst, journalistic misdemeanors of the sort that generally pass without notice at the country's most respected publications," Grove wrote.
And yet, when asked about the charges, Zakaria finds himself above it all, as he declines to comment.
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